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Trump’s Victory Becoming Surprise Because of Wrong Polling

© AFP 2021 / Jim WatsonThis file photo taken on July 21, 2016 shows US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Donald Trump said on November 9, 2016 he would bind the nation's deep wounds and be a president "for all Americans," as he praised his defeated rival Hillary Clinton.
This file photo taken on July 21, 2016 shows US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Donald Trump said on November 9, 2016 he would bind the nation's deep wounds and be a president for all Americans, as he praised his defeated rival Hillary Clinton. - Sputnik International
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The shortcomings of the polling procedures in the United States could be the reason why surveys failed to predict Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections, a number of experts told Sputnik.

Supporters of Republican candidate Donald Trump on Times Square in New York follow the preliminary vote results - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Trump, who was the Republican candidate, won in the Tuesday US presidential elections despite the fact that most of the analysts and opinion polls had predicted his defeat to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump got more than 270 votes needed to win.

"In short, it’s going to take more time to understand the discrepancies between the pre-election polling and yesterday’s results. Clearly, Trump had momentum, in part from the Comey announcement, at the end that the polling couldn’t fully capture," Molly O’Rourke, Director of the MA program in Political Communication at the American University told Sputnik.

On Sunday, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey closed a briefly reopened criminal probe of Clinton’s email practices after agents uncovered a previously unknown cache of emails.

"But there were also significant issues with modeling voter turnout — pollsters consistently underrepresented non-college educated voters who were Trump’s base and placed too much emphasis on the ‘diversity is destiny’ theory that growing racial diversity would produce Democratic victory," O’Rourke said.

A home displaying signs supporting U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and criticizing U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is seen in Bellmore, NY, October 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Jim Campbell, Distinguished Professor at the University of Buffalo told Sputnik that polling has become more difficult in the United States over the past years because of new technology and call screening.

"Interview completion rates are very low. It may be that more likely Trump voters were missed in the survey samples. Perhaps they were more likely to screen their calls," Campbell explained.

He added that most surveys focused on differentiating between Clinton and Trump voters, without taking into account that a large number of Americans had not made a decision between the Democratic and Republican candidate.

"In 2012, there was only about 3 percent who had not indicated a vote for Obama or Romney. This year, there was 9.6 percent in the final RCP [Real Clear Politics] average who had not indicated a Clinton or Trump vote intention. This left a lot more room for election day movement and it may have tilted a good bit away from the in-party candidate," Campbell told Sputnik.

Meanwhile, Mike Hout, Professor of Sociology at the New York University, claims that the radical difference in voting result projections and the actual outcome of the US presidential election this year was to be expected.

"This was normal polling error. It was much larger than the more technical sampling error. But historically the last-weekend polling average can miss by 3 points (in fact it did so in 2012 but nobody cared because it was the difference between a slim win for Obama and a more comfortable will)," Hout told Sputnik.

Trump gained well above the 270 electoral votes needed for a victory in the Tuesday elections, surpassing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Polling figures had been wildly volatile throughout the 2016 race. Clinton had managed to sustain a national lead over Trump, according to various surveys, but it had fluctuated from well over 10 percent at its height to a statistically insignificant 1 to 2 percent.

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